Rooting Echinacea Plants

echinaceamaniac(7)February 28, 2008

I've read so many posts from people wanting to root some of the newer Echinacea plants. I have found out how to do it!

I searched on the web for how to root plants. I ended up in a marijuana growers' forum! LOL. Believe it or not, they had the most detailed instructions. I figured if it would work with those plants it would work with coneflowers...and it did.

They use Clonex gel. This is a must I have found. It really works! I found instructions on how to make a propagator from clear plastic totes and an aquarium air pump. I did what they said and put a florescent light over the top and waited. The cuttings rooted within a week. I actually grew some indoors over the winter that I rooted from cuttings. They lived all winter in my kitchen window. I then was able to take cuttings from them as well.

You can learn a lot from those illegal growers! LOL!

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georgez5il(z5 IL)

I have success with this plant bu using cuttings of firm new growth. I apply 0.1% IBA (Rootone) stick in well drained soil & mist Rooting takes 10-20 days.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 9:09AM
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gnomey(7b SC zip296)

What part of the plant do you take the cutting from? I'm interested in trying this with some doubles that my mom grows. I just ordered my Clonex, hope it works for me.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 12:17AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

I have rooted both stem cuttings and the baby plants that come up from the crown of the original. If you look at the crown of the plants, you'll notice that they have small little plants that come up around the base all the time. You can usually pull these off gently and they will even already have a root or two. I used the Jiffy seed starting mix to root those in. Simply dip the little plantlet in the clonex at the bottom and then place under a dome. I use 3 1/2 inch peat pots for this too. I use plastic totes available at Wal-mart for humidity. A small fluorescent light is used over the plastic tote.

The stem cuttings are more difficult to take. I use a propagator I made which uses an aquarium air stone to bubble the water. The stem cuttings are placed so that the bubbles splash up on the cutting. You don't want the stems to soak in the water. They are splashed with it. I have it set to stay on for 45 minutes and turn off for 15. It does this constantly in a loop all day long. Leave the light on 24 hours per day. It usually takes about 2-4 weeks to root the stem cuttings this way. I will post pictures of my propagator soon. Sorry if this is confusing. These plants are very fun to propagate if you have the patience. I grew some cuttings in the winter under lights and they were ready to be planted out this spring. They got huge under a 400 Watt MH light.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 5:25PM
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gnomey(7b SC zip296)

Thanks for the information. I received my clonex and I am going to try this with my mom's doubles.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 1:20AM
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gnomey(7b SC zip296)

echinaceamaniac - I forgot to say.. my dad breeds angelfish so I have access to aquarium equipment. Would you happen to have a link to the bubbler setup? I'm not sure I totally understand what the process is there with the water bubbling up but the cuttings not soaking up the water. So there's no soil in this type of propagator?

I have been making propagation chambers according to instructions someone posted here, with the two plastic bin type containers from Wal-Mart and a bungee cord. I'm still experimenting with the mediuma, but just bought a big bag of pearlite for the next one I set up. I also have been using peat and sand and mixtures including light potting mix with sand with some success although all of my sweet olive cuttings have turned black. My heuchera leaf cuttings and candytuft seem to be doing well.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 1:33AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

gnomey, Here's the one I made...

http://projects.greenmangardens.net/content/view/25/39/

Keep in mind that stem cuttings aren't as easy as the basal cuttings. I took "baby" cuttings from a Razzmatazz echinacea this weekend. I got 4 basal cuttings that already have roots on them. Note: I still dip them in the Clonex before potting them up. These will give you almost 100% success. I potted them up in Jiffy Seed Starting Mix from Wal-mart. You don't want them to be too deep. Just enough so they don't fall over. If you plant them too deep they will not survive. I barely have mine in the mix. The crown needs to be close to the surface. I turned a clear plastic tote upside down and sat them all on the lid. I then placed a light on top of the lid. They will be ready in 2 weeks to remove from this setup.

Only use the stem cuttings when you don't have the little plantlets at the base of your Echinacea. If the one you are propagating is from last year, you should be able to break off at least 3-4 (or more) baby plantlets easily. Just rock them back and forth and they snap right off!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:45AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

I meant to say "I placed the light on the top of the bottom of the clear tote container. The clear tote is upside down so the light sits on top of the bottom of the container. Your plants will sit on the upside down lid."

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:48AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

Another comment...I tried the pearlite you mentioned and it didn't work with my echinacea cuttings. The best thing I've found for echinacea is the Jiffy seed starting mix. I highly suggest you use it with them.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:52AM
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flowergirl1211(8)

Hi Would you please post a pic of your propagating system?
TIA,
Linda

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 1:21PM
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gnomey(7b SC zip296)

One more question, or maybe a 2 or 3...

I have some mini propagation chambers set up although nothing as elaborate as your mister yet. Here are the mediums I have in each - can you tell me, since I don't have one with just Jiffy mix, which prop. chamber would be my best bet?

A. I have some set up with 50-50 peat and perlite. This has become my medium of choice for most things.

B. I have one with Jiffy mix and sand, about 50-50.. I'm not rooting too much stuff in this one because the mix just seems too heavy to me (?)

C. One chamber is 100 percent perlite. Heuchera leaf cuttings and rosemary seem to be doing okay with this, but I saw that you mentioned this won't work with the echie plantlets.

So given these 3 (basically 2) choices.. which would you use?

Oh, I also have several bags of plain Scotts brand potting soil that has perlite in it. This stuff is so light and dry - I have no idea why they call it potting soil as a plant would not do well in this stuff without some compost mixed in it, which is what I do if I use it - and I rarely do, which is why I still have bags of it that I got on the cheap before I knew better. Would this kind of stuff be any good for propagation?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 5:08PM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

Gnomey, I would have to go with option B. Option A might work, but I know option B will. I use just the Jiffy mix. I have been focused on Echinacea plants for 5 years now. I was determined I was going to multiply my plants. I've been crossing them and coming up with my own types of them. I'll post a thread in the perennials forum soon showing some of my experiments. By the way, you can grow them indoors in a bright window all winter and they will actually do well. If you have a variety that you are worried about returning, consider growing it indoors. It worked for me. Unlike what most people think, these plants do not require a resting period. If it wasn't for the cold, they'd grow all winter.

Don't use that potting soil especially if it's that organic crap with chopped up bark in it. I killed several of my plants with that stuff!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 5:55PM
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gnomey(7b SC zip296)

Echinacea- Thanks for the tips! I removed 12 babies today from Coconut Lime, Sundown and a double pink one.. can't remember the name right now. It was like a loose tooth... I just wiggled and wiggled until they came off and all but about 2 of them had roots! I'm so excited.

Can't wait to see the results of your experiments. These plants won't come true from seed, right? I had no idea you could keep them growing all winter!

I need to find a dumping ground for this Scotts junk. I think it is the crap w/bark in it.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 12:28AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

Gnomey,

They won't bloom without some type of grow light in the winter. The also don't come true from seeds.

However, this past winter I purchased a nice 400 watt grow light. I was able to keep some of my favorite plants under it and take cuttings all winter. I also was able to start some seed under it. They got very big before time for spring planting! One had a bud to bloom too.

I hope your plants aren't still wilted. Make sure to get that humidity up in your container. Make sure it has condensation on the sides. Did you moisten the potting medium good?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:52PM
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fengshui05(eu)

hi

@ echinaceamanic - do you got some of the new echinaceas that have been published in December in the journal of the hardy plant Society? The breeder of the plants is somewehere in the south of the states.
regards,

H.J.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 3:45PM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

Fengshui05, Yes. I believe I have all of them. I have many different ones!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 4:09PM
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fengshui05(eu)

hi

@ echinaceamanic are you a breeder in this field or only an enthusiast. I ask this as I publish an e-garden journal an I have planned an article about this plants for the August issue.

regards,
H.J.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 7:45AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

H.J.,

I just grow these for fun right now. I do experiment with crossing the different plants, but it's just a hobby. I have been experimenting with the propagation of these plants for several years. I tried the tissue culture and wasn't able to do that. I then realized I'd have to come up with an alternative method. I think I've got it now!

I do have an interesting plant I'm trying to establish. Check out these pictures. The blooms are swirled around the cone. I call this Echinacea Pinwheel...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22650176@N07/2631192251/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22650176@N07/2631194249/

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 10:44AM
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fengshui05(eu)

hi
@ echinaceamanic - well i have done some tissue culture with daylilies in the past - but this is very tricky if you do not have the right cleanroom conditions. I then switched to a more unconventionel methode where a hormone past ist but on the rootstock of the plants. I got very good results.
What I saw on the Url you provided is very interesting.
I have seen lots of photos recently for an article to publish in a journal recently - the one you show there are really nice.
regards,
H.J.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 11:33AM
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